Recently, I had the opportunity to serve dinner to some special folks. A team from our church prepared food for 40 and then served this food to some of our local people who are homeless, without money at the end of the week for dinner, or just some folks who wanted a free meal. I don’t question their reasons or their validity of whether they should be there. Rather, I am thankful to serve them, knowing that my role is to serve each of them wholeheartedly, showing the kindness of love of the Man who showed us the ultimate love and kindness.
At the end of the evening, I was thanked by an older gentleman as he left. I had noticed him earlier as he was the age of my grandpa, and wasn’t wearing shoes – I know, an odd combo. 🙂 I kept an eye on him throughout the evening, as I had not seen him in previous months. He was a quiet fellow, enjoying his dinner and keeping to his own. As he left, he thanked me and wished me a good evening, and then said “Or, as they say in German ‘guten abed’ or in Greece they say ‘kalinikta’. I smiled, asked him to repeat it to me and we talked back in forth in my attempted German and Greek wording, and he in his good phrasing of these words.
As he left, I thought to myself – “How did he get here? Did he plan when he was a little boy, or even when he was learning German and speaking in Greece that he would one day be barefoot with threadbare clothes eating a meal made by some strangers in an old band room of a middle school?” I doubt those were his dreams.
Life throws so many curve balls at us – some we can handle, and many we cannot. I do not know this gentleman’s story, but I am pretty sure of one thing – he has wondered ‘How did I get here?’ Maybe he knows the poor choices he made and the consequences of those choices, or maybe his life is one of consequences from someone else’s poor choices. I don’t know.
But one thing I do know – our God knows, and this man is here on this earth for a purpose, with a unique gifting and he is loved just as much as I am by our Creator. I would never claim to understand the justice and fairness of life, but I can claim the Truth that our God is good, He is not caught unaware, and He sees the whole big picture of our lives.
In the end I choose to trust Him over what I can see and know right now which sometimes points to confusion and unfairness. And, in the end, this gentleman is an excellent reminder to treat all of God’s creation with the same love, kindness, respect that I would want because I know that whether in good or bad circumstances, the only way I “got there” was by the grace of God.